In the late eighth and early ninth century a composite military group of mostly Turkic extraction relocated from the northwestern borderland (Xinjiang and Gansu corridor) to Daibei in northern Hedong, probably as a consequence of the Tibetan invasion of the western prefectures. They went on to play key military roles in the Tang provincial and imperial armies throughout the ninth century. One of the leading clans, the Shatuo/Zhuxie, produced the dynastic founders of the tenth-century northern regimes. Together with the Shatuo, the Turkic Qibi, Hun and Adie followed a similar migration pattern and relocated to northern Hedong. The Shatuo maintained a distinct group identity in the official historical records even as the other clans ended up erased from history. This paper explores the strategies of interaction and competition of the clans for official recognitions and privileges within the Tang bureaucratic and military system. On the one hand, they assimilated the cultural connotations of the Tang military elites. On the other hand, they developed and preserved forms of solidarity based on distinct territorial and ancestral shared identities. Excavated funerary inscriptions attest to the value such group attached to the narration of their ancestry, as well as their interpretation of historical events. Through an analysis of transmitted and excavated material, this paper surveys the resettlement and growth of the Hedong military group and the dynamics in which a “Shatuo identity” came into being.